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CG, movie, typography, space decoration and VJ, as well as graphic design… It’s an obvious fact that visual expression connected with personal computers is becoming mainstream. Although the outline of those visual expression obtains its position as mainstream, why do people who are involved in those visual expression feel uncomfortable? They rather work fair with clients as a business, but if it becomes small (independent) works or purely personal expression on the web, though they’re a kind of their hobby, seems they feel shady.

When you ask a band musician who makes his living by a part time job as a waiter what his job is, he never answer he is a ‘waiter’. To the contrary, when you ask a person who plays at clubs as a VJ the same question, he never answer like ‘I’m a VJ’. People like him always answer like ‘I’m doing graphic-related…’ or ‘doing visuals or something like that’. Of course it’s important to secure one’s livelihood in order to get a social position, but as far as the digital graphic expression is concerned, the boundary between professional and amateur, between hobby and job is vague.

For instance, there used to be a special meaning or deep emotion when one’s name is printed even in some extremely local media like a collection of compositions by school children. Also, a special meaning on that one’s poor handwriting figures are printed into sharp lines has disappeared with the advent of the low-priced computers and ink jet printers. Everyone can design and publish their designs.

The creator of the current visual expression using PCs has been made by people like junior-high, high and college students and people who have no employment and are loafing about around Shibuya.

Seeing the current digital graphic scene, I cannot ignore the fact that the age bracket is too thin. Most of them are in their 20’s, and the situation that the young people can live without any employment and the development of the PC has encouraged this situation.

The fact that a hobby cannot be connected with a business leads to the relationship between artistry and commercialism, between art and graphic design, and between artwork and ordered work. ‘Creators’ in 10’s or 20’s who realize their ideas with their sorts of abilities should be reduced as time goes by, and as a result, talents of good quality will survive.

People who want to be a musician or actor have to give up their talents, think about their future and choose how they should communicate with society at a certain age. It’s a kind of circular system of the creator. The older generation hand over their sash to the younger generation. This system should be unique to established expressions as a genre and it cannot be applied to the craftsmen’ or artisans’ field. But the situation is changing around the graphic design world. It’s so-called generalization. Band expression, theatrical expression, and digital visual expression, etc…

The future of people who have been working for digital visual expression for almost 10 years with high artistry and quality is worrying. Like 10 years ago, the ‘expression with PCs’ was innovative, but the time is already over and the surviving talents are now working as professionals in different fields such as graphic design, visual and CG. Some people have changed their positions into AD (art director), CD (creative director) or producer. They all are at the turning point.

Apart from people who have been working for clients with graphic design and visual expressions, what do people who keep creating artworks personally think from their experience for long years?

On October 20th, the shop ‘Psygoyama‘ was opened as a shop managed directly by the fashion brand ‘Bajera’ in Daikanyama where stylish cafes are clustered. This shop proposes a sophisticated and new ‘Japanese’ style, combined Bajera’s clothes and daily goods/accessories designed by artists. It seems like one of the ordinary shops that opens everyday around this area, but the ‘Psygoyama Project’ they present as one of their business contents is different from ordinary shops that only sell clothes and accessories.

The project aims to produce everything from space for event/shop/house and graphic design for poster/catalogue/DM/all printed matter to product development for clothes/interior and direction of artist/craftsman. And one of the member of this project is Shige from Organics.

Organics is a graphic group with an overwhelming existence for their original psychedelic CG visuals and space decoration, working for record sleeves of trance music like Matsuri and parties like Equinox. They’ve been highly recognized overseas rather than in Japan and it might be because of their experience of rave parties overseas. And it means they’re kind of a minor group in Japan. But Japanese contemporary artists and filmmakers who tour some biennials and film festivals held overseas are going into the world with enough recognition and are on the edge of Japan’s creative scene. Organics also has 10 years experience in graphic design. It’s interesting to see where creators with strong artistry like Organics can find a point of contact with society as a business.
To tell the truth, the uniqueness of this shop itself doesn’t really matter. This flow itself is rather interesting.

Address: 15-5 Hachiyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open : 11:30am – 8:00pm
Closed on Mondays

Text: Jiro Ohashi from E-Regular
Translation: Mayumi Kaneko

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